The Earth has finite resources, meaning that we will eventually face the limits of our natural resources. Eventually, we will go beyond the earth’s limits, causing species loss, climate change, and eco-system failure. Put simply, the Earth will physically be unable to handle the demand. Despite massive landscapes of greenery and what seems like endless blue oceans, our planet is limited in its resources and capabilities to support inhabitants. Turning resources into wastage faster than waste can be turned into resources puts a strain on global ecological overshoot. This essentially means deprecating the resources which human life depends on. The United Nations have come up with 17 sustainable development goals. These were created to guide the role of not-for-profit, for-profit, public, and voluntary sectors in global development.
However, the only real long-term solution to resource depletion is enforcing change and measuring sustainability. Not everyone can dedicate their life to social impact work, but regardless of whether you are working a full-time job, it doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to sustainable development goals. No matter who you are or where you live, the knowledge you gain, and the small choices you make can have a bigger impact than you think. The more businesses that take care of their carbon footprint, the better the future looks for our environment. Something as niche as a furniture shop or an industrial air compressor company can leverage technology and innovation. These organisations, no matter what field of work, should aim to increase productivity with less impact on the environment.
To keep it as simple and as easy to understand as possible, here are some important things to consider for sustainable development. In essence, the main way to protect our planet revolves around the idea that younger generations are educated through the continuous growth of research and technology. The only true long-term solution to resource depletion is pursuing and measuring sustainability. The small choices society makes can lead to a domino effect of success and have a bigger impact than you think. From investing in a rainwater tank pump, installing solar panels for your home, or learning that a new refrigerated air dryer can reduce global warming.
Otherwise known as ‘Generation Green’, these young people are determined to save the planet. This new generation has become determined over the need to address climate change so that their future and, their children’s futures are saved. Understandably, what seems to be lacking is the consensus of workable technologies to solve the crisis of growing greenhouse gases into the earth’s atmosphere. Schools have improved with concern to educating children about the direction of our planet. However, it is influential people on social media, like Nobel Price nominee Greta Thunberg aged just 17 years, who hold the greatest power over the younger gen. Greta is known for being an environmentalist activist and speaking on topics where she challenges world leaders to take immediate action against climate change. She emphasises that we must reduce greenhouse gas emissions, pull carbon out of the air, and essentially redesign our social-environmental systems in a direction where there are new ways of doing business.
Influential decision-makers, individual consumers, and world readers have all been extremely slow to act. Climate change leads to many issues, from the rise of sea-level to the loss of natural resources, an increase in conflict, poverty, or gender inequality. It has a domino effect on the world. For as long as generations continue to strive for a healthier planet Earth, the passion and dedication for new research development and technologies can ensure these issues are not ignored. As there is endless debate over different technologies needed to halt rising temperatures, there is no technology or economic barrier, but rather a lack of willingness and leadership to move faster and further than upcoming demand. Through the adoption of regenerative practices on withstanding cropland, grassland and degraded land, we can restore soil health and fertility. There are a few examples of some interventions that can shift the way the world is doing business. The global economy is based on extractive exploitative growth models, this means spewing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This is through fossil combustion, land conversion, and excessive consumption of everything, with no real thought or consideration for the future, and how our actions today will have repercussions in the long term.
Something as simple as reducing food and waste can have a huge effect on the environment. Food waste ends up wasting nearly a quarter of our water supply, and evidently, installing poly rainwater tanks just isn’t enough. When food is disposed of in a landfill it rots and turns into methane. This is a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide. The movement towards a healthy plant-rich based diet, means all the extra emissions and energy associated with the production, process, and packaging of distributing and decomposing food, is not as harmful to the environment. This is one of the most impactful decisions and an individual can make every day to help solve the climate crisis. An alternative to cutting down forests and degrading wetlands to fulfill the demand for society’s appetite of meat, timber, and energy, would be to instead shift focus to protecting our ecosystems by expanding and creating new carbon sinks. Regenerative practices on current cropland can restore soil health, increase yield and provide the same abundance of materials without destroying our natural systems. Making your own veggie garden and protecting produce with garden wire products is something small you can do to feed yourself and your family without the plastic containers and pollution that comes from the trucks delivering your food to the supermarket. When land is used to raise animals instead of crops, precious water and soils are lost and trees are cut down to make the land for grazing or factory sheds. According to EPA, agriculture is 9% of emissions and livestock is roughly 4% of that. Burning fossil fuels for industry, transportation, and electricity comprises the bulk of greenhouse gas commissions.
In terms of the packaging of the food we consume, this is where reduce, reuse, and recycle, the ‘3 R approach’, comes into play. Recycling prevents the emissions of many greenhouse gases and water pollutants and essentially saves energy. Using recovered materials generates less solid waste in our landfills. Recycling materials helps to reduce the pollution that is caused by extracting and processing virgin materials from their natural state. The easiest way to decrease waste is to not generate it in the first place. Creating a new product and their corresponding product displays requires a lot of materials and energy, all materials need to be extracted from the earth and further, the product must be fabricated and transported to where it will be sold. This points to only one solution, reducing and reusing our natural resources and protecting our environment.